Saturday, 28 February 2009

New In March 09...

Sophie Kinsella- Remeber me?

When 28 yr old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she's in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident- in a Mercedes, no less, and she's about to find out just how much things have changed.
Somehow Lexi went from a 25 yr old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek
new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband-who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mid still stuck three yrs in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all. Suddenly, Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?

India- Sanjeev Bhaskar

As a young British Asian growing up in 1960s west London, writer and actor, Sanjeev Bhaskar was fed stories of exotic old India- of cobras and leopards, trapping fireflies and riding rickshaws. But his childhood visits to the old country revealed stifling heat, power cuts and the pervasive aroma of cow dung-baffling to a young boy brought up in an England of fish and chips and light drizzle.
Now, years later, Sanjeev embarks on a uniquely personal journey through the heart of India, where he is reunited with old relatives with traumatic stories of Partition-but also discovers a shiny new India of high-tech industry and glittering Bollywood kitsch. Sanjeev paints a unique picture of this chaotic, beautiful and remarkable country-this is India as you've never seen it before.

Playing for Pizza- John Grisham

Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock- and was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.
But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent finds a team that needs him. Against enormous odds, Rick finally gets a job- as the starting quarterback for the Mighty Partners...of Parma, Italy. The Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL Player, any former NFL Player-at their helm. And now, they've got Rick, who knows nothing about Parma (not even where it is) and doesn't speak a word a word of Italian. To say that Italy-the land of fine wines, extremely small cars, and football Americano-holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery wold be something of an understatement.

The Golden Cup- Belva Plain

In this magnificent return to the world of Evergreen, Henrietta Roth, an extraordinary women, fights to control her destiny, and three turbulent generations come vividly to life against a background of immigrant struggle, war and passion.

Message in a Bottle- Nicholas Sparks

Divorced and disillusioned about relationships, Theresa Osborne is jogging when she finds a bottle on the beach. Inside, is a letter of love and longing to "Catherine" signed simply "Garrett". Challanged by the mystery and pulled by emotions she doesn't fully understand, Theresa begins a search for this man that will change her life. What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous-and encounter that embraces all our hopes for finding someone special, for having a love that is timeless and everlasting.

The Friday Night Knitting Club- Kate Jacobs

It starts almost by accidents, the women who buy their knitting needles and wools from Gerogia's store linger for advice, for a coffee, for a chat and before they know it, every Friday night is knitting night. And as the needles clack, and the garments grow, the conversation moves on from patterns and yarn to life, love and everything. These women are of different problems, but they are drawn together by threads of affection that prove as durable as the sweaters they knit.

Sunday's at Tiffany's- James Patterson

Jane Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, a powerful Broadway producer, makes time for her only once a week, for their Sunday trip to admire jewelry at Tiffany's. Jane has only one friend, a handsome comforting funny man name Micheal. He's perfect. But only she can see him. Micheal can't stay forever, thought. On Jane's ninth birthday he leaves, promising her that she'll soon forget him.
Years later, in her thirties, Jane is just as alone as she was as a child. And despite her own success as a playwright, she is even more trapped by her overbearing mother. Then she meets someone- a handsome, comforting,funny man. He's perfect. His name is Micheal.

Vanishing Acts- Jodi Piccoult

Delia Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her widowed father Andrew, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiance', and a job she loves, finding missing persons.
But as Delia plans her wedding, she is plagues by flashbacks of life she can't recall. And then a policeman knocks at her door, and her world fractures into something unrecognisable...

Note: Synopsis are from book covers. My review will come after Ive read the books :)

My Name Is Salma...

Author: Fadia Faqir

Its about an Arab women who got pregnant before marriage. To restore their honour, the villagers set out to kill her. A runaway from her tribe, her days playing the pipe for her goats and swimming in the spring are over. She is placed in prison for her own protection, and upon delivering, her newborn baby was taken away.

Few years later, she moves to England to seek asylum. She began her new life in the middle of the most English of English towns, Exeter, where she learns good manners from her ancient landlady, and strives to have a social life at the local pub. But it is with the help of Parvin, a feisty Pakistani girl on the run from an arranged marriage, that Salma is finally able to forge a new identity.

Still, deep inside her, she still hears the echos of her baby girl. When she can no longer bear them, she decides to go back to her village to find her. It is a journey that will change everything - and nothing.

It left me with a long sigh after reading this book.

Ratings: 6/10

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Slumdog Millionare

Previously Published as "Q&A".

It took me 3 days to complete this book. It would have in fact taken me a day to finish it, but due to some other circumstances, it took me longer then it should have.
I did not want to put the book down. As soon as I started reading it, i was hooked. The writer (who is a professor) managed to bring me "meet the character". He is tiffin boy, who managed to win 1 billion rupees by answering 12 questions in a game show. (If you have seen who wants to be a millionaire, you will not have problems understanding this book). But he was brutally taken to prison with the reason that he cheated at the game show. With the video of the game show, he carefully explained how he knew the answers to each of the questions based on the eventful life experiences.

Its a straightforward read, with many teeth gripping life events. Also, after reading this book, it takes my believe in Karma to a whole different level.

I'd rate this book 10 out of 10. Its no wonder the movie won so many awards...

: Watched the movie. The book is MUCH better...

Monday, 2 February 2009

New in Feb....

*The Harmony Silk Factory*

The Harmony Silk Factory tells the story of Johnny Lim, a Chinese-Malaysian man during and after World War II. Tash Aw's novel is in three parts, with each section telling a different perspective on Johnny's life. The first section is told by his son, Jasper, who searches for the story of his father's life to find out how he became such a despicable man. He finds that his father worked in a British-run tin mine in Malaya, chafing at his poor treatment by his racist masters. The murder of one of his bosses allows him a career change to become a brilliant salesman at the Tiger Brand Trading Company. When Tiger Tan's mysterious death puts Johnny in charge of the company, he marries the most beautiful woman in the valley, Snow Soong. The second section of the book is Snow's diary of a belated honeymoon trip, accompanied by a Japanese professor, Mamoru Kunichika, and a British aesthete, Peter Wormwood. The third section is Peter's remembrance of the same trip, and his fond memories of both Johnny and Snow. The Harmony Silk Factory explores the life of a man as told from three different sources, all with their own memories and limitations. Tash Aw's debut novel has received mostly positive reviews with the London Times saying, "From the clunky unreliability of Jasper, through the pellucid prose of Snow's journal to the intelligent, slightly camp, aesthetic eloquence of Wormwood, Aw orchestrates a graceful ballet of dissonances and congruences, of echoes and discords."

* "Slumdog Millionare"
-Previously published as Q&A *

A former tiffinboy from Mumbai, Ram Mohammad Thomas, has just got 12 questions correct on a TV Quiz Show to win cool one billion rupees. But he is brutally slung in a prison cell on suspicion on cheating. Because how can a kid from the slums know who Shakespear was unless he has been pulling a fast one?

In the order of the questions of the show, Ram tells us which amazing adventures in his street-kid life thought him the answers. From orphanages to brothels, gangsters to beggar-masters, and into the homes of Bollywood's rich and famous, this book is brimming with the chaotic comedy, heart stopping tragedy, and tear-inducing joyfullness of modern India.

*Girl with the Dragon Tattoo*

A classic odd-couple duo: a crusading financial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, and a freelance private investigator, Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Larsson himself, whose work exposing racism and fascism made him particularly unpopular with his country's far right.

Blomkvist is at a low ebb when an ageing businessman, Henrik Vanger, offers him a diversion. He wants him to spend a year writing the Vanger family history, while secretly investigating a cold case close to his heart: the disappearance of his 16-year-old grandniece, Harriet, over 30 years ago.

Blomkvist agrees, and decamps to the small island, three hours north of Stockholm, where Vanger lives, along with a handful of surviving family-members. These include Harald, a half-mad Nazi-sympathiser, Cecilia, his daughter, and Martin, Harriet's brother and currently CEO of the family business.

The case has intriguing aspects. On the day of the girl's disappearance in 1966, the bridge to the mainland was blocked by a traffic accident, and Hedeby Island itself was chock-a-block with Vangers present for a family dinner. It is, in Blomkvist's words, a "locked-room mystery in island format".

It's a fair analogy. The book feels closer to Agatha Christie than Henning Mankell, more concerned with the idea of detection as an intellectual exercise, like a crossword puzzle of human emotions, than a murky procedure compromised by the buffets and trials of real life. Nor is it a breakneck page-turner. It takes Blomkvist almost half the book to make any kind of breakthrough, when he spots something odd in a photograph of Harriet taken on the morning of her vanishing, and a series of coded numbers are revealed to him as that old serial killer standby, references to biblical chapter and verse.

Salander joins forces with Blomkvist for the novel's second half, a 24-year-old anorexic and bisexual loner with multiple piercings and tattoos, a history of mental illness, a photographic memory and some useful – and never explained – computer hacking skills.

She is at once a vision of female empowerment – a kind of goth-geek Pippi Longstocking – and an echoing agglomeration of clich├ęs, not least in the scenes where she is viciously sexually assaulted by her mental health worker and proceeds to take her revenge. Her understandably pitiless view of men ties in with the grisly secrets that the duo's investigations unearth in the Vangers' past and present, and informs the later books, which deal with sex trafficking and government corruption.

*Keeping Faith*

In the small town of New Canaan, N.H., 33-year-old Mariah discovers that her husband, Colin, is having an affair. Years ago, his cheating drove Mariah to attempt suicide and Colin had her briefly committed to an institution. Now Mariah's facing divorce and again fighting depression, when her eight-year-old daughter, Faith, suddenly acquires an imaginary friend. Soon this friend is telling the girl how to bring her grandmother back from the dead and how to cure a baby dying of AIDS. As Faith manifests stigmata, doctors are astounded, and religious controversy ensues, in part because Faith insists that God is a woman. An alarmed Colin sues for custody of Faith, and the fear of losing her daughter dramatically changes meek, diffident Mariah into a strong, protective and brave womanAone who fights for her daughter, holds her own against doctors and lawyers and finds the confidence to pursue a surprising new romance with TV atheist Ian Fletcher, cynical "Spokesman of the Millennium Generation."

Reviews are from internet and book covers. My review will be in separate posts after Ive finished reading the books. :)